USD Magazine Fall 2013

TORERO NEWS ith cerulean blue skies and sea temperatures near 70 degrees, conditions were downright balmy compared to Maddie Kasik’s home in Northern California, but what was more important to her was that the water was clear. She wanted to monitor the sharks

CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY T h e me r g i n g o f a c a d em i c s a n d r e s i d e n t i a l l i f e c r e a t e s a p owe r f u l f r e s hma n e x p e r i e n c e [ l i v i n g a n d l e a r n i n g ] by Trisha J. Ratledge W

connections and confidence in her new home. “I was the only one from my high school who went to USD so I felt like a fish out of water,” she says. “My LLC provided a community within the freshman class that was smaller, and that foundational support helped me find my groupings in college life.” The 2013-14 academic year marks the first year that 100 per- cent of freshmen will participate in a living learning community at USD. The nine communities are part of an umbrella experience for first-year students, weaving scholarship into everyday life

no interest in humans. For Kasik, swimming among them marked her introduction to life in her Honors Living Learning Com- munity (LLC). “My friends convinced me to go swimming and I thought I was out of my mind, but it was actually really fun,” says the San Jose native who is serving as an Honors LLC resident assistant (RA) her sophomore year. At the University of San Diego, life in a living learning community blends academics and residential life throughout a student’s fresh- man year. For Kasik, it helped build

milling about just below, counting on their interest staying with the invertebrates on the ocean floor, rather than the college students casting shadows from above. No worries there. The leopard sharks that congregate seasonally to spawn at La Jolla Shores have




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